Some would say that this reappearance of Sherlock Holmes, after Doyle tried to kill him off but fans protested vehemently, reveals a kinder, gentler drug-using violin player. But I have always thought that he only appears milder because there is less of him. Conan Doyle offers a return to Sherlock that leaves no doubt as to his feeling that there is more to his works than a fictitious genius with whom the public so entrusted their imaginations that a complete suspension of disbelief proved possible. They thought Holmes was real. But in The Hound of the Baskervilles, the author shows us the worth of Watson, "not luminous" but a "conductor of light," as well as the worth of his own lovely prose. All with hardly a mention of Sherlock for page upon page except where Watson sends updates on the investigation.
You know the story. Dark and dreary family history of Baskervilles living on a desolate moor, and doomed to live in fear of the unnaturally large and savage hound that travels the moors at night hunting the descendents of a particularly unsavory ancestor who brought this plight upon his descendents by his seeming inability to keep his pants on. The newest resident of the hall and heir of the Baskerville fortune enlists the help of Holmes to solve this mystery, but Holmes dispatches Watson to the scene while he attends to other matters. Only to appear in the nick of time of course.
Yes, this is flawed in parts but I love it. As I love most things Sherlock. Highest marks.